SB 0498 Modifies provisions relating to jury service
LR Number:1673S.01I Fiscal Note:1673-01
Committee:Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action:03/10/03 - Hearing Conducted S Judiciary & Civil & Criminal Journal page:
Jurisprudence Committee
Effective Date:August 28, 2003
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Current Bill Summary

SB 498 - This act modifies provisions relating to service on a jury and postponements and exemptions from such service. Currently, lawyers and persons with physical illness are ineligible for jury service. This act makes such persons eligible for service. Certain health care professionals, clergy, persons with employment in areas where their absence would affect the public safety, St. Louis city police officers and persons upon whom jury service would pose an extreme hardship are currently excused from jury service. This act makes them eligible to serve as jurors.

Certain individuals upon whom jury duty would cause undue or extreme physical or financial hardship or individuals with confirmed mental or physical conditions that causes them to incapable of performing jury service may be apply to be excused from jury duty for a period of up to 24 months. The act defines what constitutes "undue or extreme physical or financial hardship" and provides that the certain documentation must be filed and that a judge must make the determination. After 24 months, the person is again eligible for jury duty unless the judge decides that the person should be permanently excused.

Individuals have the right to ask for a postponement of the date of initial appearance for jury duty. First requests shall be granted once the person provides the court with a new date within six months when such person shall appear for jury duty. A person who fails to appear for jury duty or who fails to obtain a postponement shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

Currently, after January 1, 2005, no person shall be required to attend court for more than two days unless selected for a jury panel. This act deletes the January 1, 2005 date and provides that a person shall not be required to attend court for more than one day unless selected for a jury panel.

A Lengthy Trial Fund is established. The executive council of the Judicial Conference of Missouri shall promulgate rules to administer the fund. The fund shall be used pay supplemental wages of up to $300 per day for jurors beginning on the eleventh day of service. Each new case filing, with certain exceptions, must be accompanied by a $20 fee that will be paid into the Fund.

Employees shall not be required to use annual, vacation or sick leave for time spent on jury duty. A court shall automatically postpone jury duty for an employee of a employer with five or fewer employees if another employee of the employer is summoned to appear during the same period.